Tag: finances

On a recent trip to Jersey I got charged an extra £10.19 for Mobile Internet & Data. This confused me as I always check that I have Data Roaming turned off whenever I go abroad…

I checked my phone and the Data Roaming option was definitely turned off. So how did I manage to rack up the charge?

After a bit of digging I found numerous posts on the internet suggesting that Apple have changed the settings options available and there are now two options you have to turn off before you can be sure you do not incur any charges while abroad.

So I bet you want to know what you need to do to make sure you don’t end up with any surprises on your next bill…


BookshelfAs I have mentioned before I am on a mission to purge a lot of stuff from my life. Especially items that I no longer have use for.

Over the years I had accumulated a fairly large collection of books. I only ever read them once but I just liked to have a copy of each book I read. This even went to the level of me picking up a couple of books from a second hand shop with no intention of ever reading them…

I had read a lot of books while travelling. Some I boxed up and sent home—another wasted cost looking back—but others I either borrowed or left behind when moving on. One such book was The Beach by Alex Garland—the subsequent film was OK but the book was much better. Everyone seemed to be reading that book so I borrowed it off a friend and really enjoyed it. So much so I decided to pick up a copy when I got home just to sit on my shelf and gather dust…

Anyway you get the picture, I had a pretty large collection of books, some paperback and some hardback, that I wanted to get rid of so I thought I would simply sell them online.

Total Money MakeoverI have recently finished reading The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I have been reading various financial blogs for a while now and this book is mentioned over and over again so I thought it was about time I picked it up.

The more of this book I read the more I realised how many of these financial based posts I have been reading have some basis from this book. There are also some great quotes and a lot of myth busting about peoples approaches to finances.

There are a fair few references to the bible but it’s not an overriding factor of the book so don’t let that put you off. The book is also American so there are some references that don’t apply over here in the UK but the basic ideas are sound.

I’m not going to go into great detail about the processes laid out in the book but here’s a few quotes and my overall thoughts.

Flowering RockAt the start of the year I set myself a list of goals to try and achieve in 2011. As we have now passed the half way mark in the year I am going through my list and looking at the progress of each item.

This is a follow on post from Part 1 so you might want to read that one first. This post covers the remaining categories which are Self Improvement, Finances, Photography and Travel.

Overall I am very pleased with my progress so far. It really does help to have some goals to aim for. I wonder how many of these things I would have achieved it I had just pottered along aimlessly as I was doing before…

Sell Your CrapI have at last started clearing out some of my clutter thanks to the e-book Sell Your Crap by Adam Baker. The content has a bit of an American bias but was very helpful in getting me off to a flying start…

This has been on my list of jobs to do for ages and I keep putting it off. There have been many little reasons holding me back over the years.

  • Not knowing how much something was actually worth.
  • Not enough experience using sites like eBay to make the amount I thought I should get for an item.
  • Where is the best place to sell different items.

The book helps get you into the right mentality to get rid of as much stuff as possible. I have only just started on this task but I have piles of stuff ready to sell already and I made over £120 in the first week with only a few hours work. And as I get more used to the sites the time taken to list something will only get shorter…

FlowerPersonal Finance is a tricky business. When you have a decent amount of money coming in each month budgeting seems almost pointless. As long as there is money in the bank then buying a few things here and there shouldn’t matter. Should it?

Well that’s the way my wife and I used to think. Luckily we have no debts, except the mortgage, and manage to pay off our credit cards every month. After a while though this started to become a little harder each month, having to move money around from one account to another to make sure there was enough to cover each bill.

One way to cope with this is to create a budget and try to stick to it. This sounds like the perfect solution but it is very hard to keep track of every part of a budget. The more I focus on one area of the budget the further of track another part seems to get… I have a project to create an app for that, which should help me keep on track on all areas of the budget more easily, but that is still a way off yet.

Overall though budgeting is definitely a good thing as it highlights where the money is going and allows you to make changes as you deem fit. It has certainly helped Shirley and myself become a bit more frugal without feeling like we are missing out on anything.

There is another way though… Earn some extra money!

Baby SwansYour path in life seems to be set down for you before you even start out. There are some simple choices you have to make along the way which affect the career you go into or where you end up living for example but for the majority of us the basic structure is pretty much set in stone:

  1. Go to school and then possibly on to university. You are told to make the most of your time at school as it is the most enjoyable part of your life.
  2. Obtain enough qualifications to start in the career of your choice. Depending on your chosen career path sometimes qualifications aren’t required.
  3. Start at some low level job. You might be able to jump ahead a few steps if you get good enough qualifications.
  4. Move up the career ladder. This will probably involve harder work and possibly longer hours but you will be rewarded with a little bit more money.
  5. Reach the highest level on the ladder you feel capable of. There will be a point where you have to decide whether or not the next step up may be too much, whether it be too stressfull, or simply not worth it for the extra money.
  6. Retire. Once you have been working for however many years you are supposed to retire and only then start enjoying life.

Is this truly the case? Looking back at the comments about school being the best time of your life suggests that there may not be so much enjoyment in the latter half of this list…

LizardFor a while now I have been trying to get a decent budget up and running. This is much harder than I had hoped and I feel like I am constantly having to make adjustments to allow for some kind of expense I hadn’t previously thought of or for the simple fact that what I had budgeted wasn’t enough.

A budget is very important to us at the moment as my income isn’t what it used to be right now but I promised Shirley that I wouldn’t let my decision to leave the 9–5 behind me affect our lifestyle too drastically. With the lower income we have had to make a few minor cutbacks but to be honest I think we were spending beyond our means anyway so I feel this was inevitable.

After months of trial and error I think we may have finally come up with a working budget. Now the trick is to stick to it…